On November 30, Dr. Carl Hershner, director of coastal resource management with the Virginia Institute for Marine Science, spoke at Rappahannock Community College about his research on water quality, wetlands ecology, and watershed resource management.
“Healthy state and local economies and a healthy Chesapeake Bay are integrally related; balanced economic development and water quality protection are not mutually exclusive,” says the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. The Act deals comprehensively with the relationships between water quality and land use planning and development, and assists local governments with land use planning needs in order to meet water quality goals through the development of land use regulations, ordinances and comprehensive plans.
Dr. Hershner explained how the Commonwealth of Virginia manages the resource management areas (RMAs) created by the Act through the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, and the individual counties manage their assigned RMAs through local laws and regulations.
A question period at the end of Dr. Hershner’s talk allowed attending faculty, staff, students, and the public to gain greater insight about these issues. Dr. Tom Mosca, chair of RCC’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and sponsor of its Math and Science Club, coordinated the event.